"How social media is fighting back" against terrorist propaganda after killing of journalist

Socmed - Flickr, by US Department of Agriculture, via CC BY 2.0

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Article
27 August 2014

We give "the new editors of the Internet" like Google, Twitter too much power, threatening free expression, says Prof. Dan Gillmor

Author: Dan Gillmor, professor at Arizona State University, in The Atlantic

"The New Editors of the Internet", 22 Aug 2014

In a small number of Silicon Valley conference rooms, decisions are being made about what people should and shouldn't see online—without the accountability or culture that has long accompanied that responsibility. Bowing to their better civic natures, and the pleas of James Foley's family, Twitter and YouTube [part of Google] have pulled down videos and photos of his murder. They had every right to do so, and in my view they did the right thing...[But] it's not clear what's too vile to host. And...Twitter and YouTube are among a tiny group of giant companies with greater and greater power—and less and less accountability—over what we read, hear, and watch online.  Who gave them this power? We did. And if we don't take back what we've given away—and what's being taken away—we'll deserve what we get: a concentration of media power that will damage, if not eviscerate, our tradition of free expression...We need...to re-decentralize the Internet... [also refers to Facebook, LiveLeak, DuckDuckGo, Comcast, Verizon]

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Article
20 August 2014

After James Foley murder, an effort to stamp out jihadi Twitter accounts

Author: Elizabeth Dickinson, Christian Science Monitor (USA)

The gruesome murder of American journalist James Foley yesterday was an opportunity for the...Islamic State (IS) to...[upload] video of the killing to YouTube [part of Google] and Vimeo and its social media team bombarded Twitter...Within minutes YouTube deleted the original post and Twitter was not far behind, announcing it would suspend accounts spreading the distressing video. But...[users] posted slightly different versions to evade detection...What can and should be done about extremist group accounts? Left unchecked, their feeds spread a violent message and rally support. But closing down all the feeds is a nearly impossible, even futile chore...There are also questions of censorship, with some arguing that the answer to savagery is sunlight, not darkness, and worries about regulatory overreach that could severely curtail free speech...Another site adopted by militants...JustPaste.it...has seen a surge in IS activity...[The] site’s owner, Mariusz Żurawek, says...[the site] deleted a slew of graphic IS postings. But keeping up with the flow of material from new users is a gargantuan task...Since being knocked off Twitter, IS has moved its regional spokesman accounts to a little-known platform called Diaspora...Diaspora did not respond to a request for comment...and several of the feeds appeared to have been closed after the Monitor sent a request to the company...pointing them out.

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Article
20 August 2014

James Foley: How social media is fighting back against Isis propaganda

Author: Hannah Jane Parkinson, Guardian (UK)

On Tuesday, militants from Islamic State (Isis) released a propaganda video depicting the beheading of...James Wright Foley, an American photojournalist...The video...was initially uploaded to YouTube [part of Google] and has been widely circulated over social media; spreading across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms...Twitter has...begun to remove all tweets embedding Isis’s video or screenshots taken from it. In a seemingly unprecedented step, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo tweeted..."We have been and are actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery..." ...YouTube, which removed the video swiftly after its initial upload,...[said] it doesn’t allow members of foreign terrorist organisations to have YouTube accounts, or people affiliated with terrorist organisations...Isis has an extremely efficient social media operation. The Guardian...[has] previously reported on their adept use of Justpaste.it and other hosting platforms. 

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